Domenico Tedesco: A one-off and emotional game
The last home game of the year is coming up and will see Schalke commemorate the closing of the coal mine industry at the same time. The players’ shirts will all have a different name of a coal mine on them for the game against Bayer Leverkusen (19/12, 18:30 CET). There will be a number of miners in attendance at the VELTINS-Arena – and Schalke 04 want to give them a memorable evening, not only by winning three points.
“I was underground myself and I experienced a lot. I was able to appreciate how hard the miners, who founded our club, worked daily. I have so much respect for them,” said Domenico Tedesco.
The head coach has made sure that his side is fully aware that the game against Leverkusen will be no normal Bundesliga fixture. “It will be a one-off game, which will be very emotional for a lot of people,” stated Tedesco. “Our responsibility is to play well and ensure that three points stay in Gelsenkirchen.”
We have to thrill our fans with our performance on the pitch!
Respect for Leverkusen’s striking power
In order to have success against Leverkusen, Schalke will need to be wary of the pacy strikers the visitors possess. “Leverkusen scored six goals in Bremen and five in Mönchengladbach, so we know how they dangerous they can be on their day – on the counter as well as when they build things up on the wings,” commented Tedesco.
The 33-year-old is also aware that Leverkusen don’t always fulfill their potential on the day. “We have to thrill our fans with our performance on the pitch”, demanded the head coach.
Nastasic returns after ban
Tedesco will have Matija Nastasic available again, after the Serbian defender was suspended for the game in Augsburg. Yehven Konoplyanka, who had a knock, is also back in contention.
Emotional goodbye to the mines
Schalke 04 and the coal mines – one is not conceivable without the other. The closure of the two final coal mines (Prosper Hainel & Ibbenbüren) has marked the end of an era. To mark the closing of the mines, Schalke have invited a number of miners to home game against Bayer Leverkusen.
Despite the melancholy, the Royal Blues want to make sure that December 19th will be a day of celebration and not a sad day. It should be a day where everyone is together, showing how greatful they are for where Schalke 04 are today.
GAZPROM, Schalke’s main club sponsor, have also made a huge contribution to the day. They have allowed Schalke to put names of different coal mines on the players’ shirts instead of their company logo.